Ron was a mentor to me; first as a library school intern working at the Macalester DeWitt Wallace Library and later as a colleague serving for many years on the Library Technology Conference Steering Committee.
I recall vividly as an intern working with Ron and his team of students on the DeWitt Code, an online Clue type of game designed to provide incoming first year students with an orientation to campus spaces and services (including the library). Students would get cards for completing various online tasks and if I recall, they could win a prize if they collected them all. Even though the software was fairly rudimentary by today’s standards, we still were able to create a pretty cool multimodal, interactive experience.
This early experience helped shape my thinking of what the modern academic library/librarian was capable of accomplishing with respect to media services and likely helped me earn my first professional position. During this process Ron was always welcoming (indeed soliciting) input from us as students to try and solve the numerous challenges that arose. In fact, I think he almost got more out of engaging with us than whatever outcome came from the final product!
That in a nutshell is the Ron I grew to know. A man who was genuinely curious; refreshingly authentic in sharing his thoughts; a well of creative ideas; and the kind of infectious, beaming enthusiasm and heart that made those around him want to be a part of whatever project he was proposing (even if it was not entirely clear what you were signing up for at that moment!). I am forever grateful for his early guidance and will deeply miss his presence.
Contributed by Scott Spicer